Escape From Alcatraz: The Mystery of the Three Men Who Escaped from the Rock
Author: Eric Braun
I was surprised how small this book was when I got it, but then I remembered…little things can pack a big punch. There is a lot of information in this book. It’s well written and it actually has more than just the basic every day, every documentary information that you’re usually gonna get.
Most of the time, especially when you watch a documentary about the escape, they are so limited on time that they really only focus on the three inmates that actively left the cell block. The real facts are that there were others involved in not only the planning of the escape, but also in the preparation of the escape.
Think about it. Alcatraz was like a prison inside a prison. You spent the majority of your time in your cell, unless you had a job to go work. So, these three men would have definitely needed help procuring specific things. Yes, one of the escapees worked in the prison barber shop and that’s how they got the hair. That was one of the Anglin brothers. The other one worked in an area where he had access to the raincoats and contact cement. They were allowed to order paint for their “painting hobbies”. But still…
Someone somewhere had to get them the magazines from the prison library. Someone had to help explain the layout of the cell block. Someone had to help get the motor for the drill they made. Someone had to get tools, extension cords, act as decoys, help distract the guards (sometimes for months at a time). Believe me, this was not a small, secret, three-man effort.
The idea of escape was revered by the inmates on The Rock and many wanted to help just to be able to be a part of what they dreamt of and longed for with sadness and sorrow as their many days of their long sentences went by.
The escape was new. It was fun. It was exciting. It was history in the making. And people wanted to be a part of that.
In this book you will find a wealth of information and a treasure trove of legitimate picture of everything from the dummy heads the inmates made to the tools that were found in their makeshift workshop above the cell block. (Oh, you didn’t know that was there huh? Read this book. There’s so much more to tell.)
This is a fantastic book to read as an introduction to the subject of the escape from Alcatraz. It really does cover a wide range of details in a short number of pages, making it a fast and easy, not to mention fascinating, read.